Ralph Loos

Leftover turkey permits to go on sale Tuesday

A technical problem of some sorts paused the sale of “leftover” turkey permits, which had been scheduled for over-the-counter sales on March 12. The Illinois DNR has announced that those permits will go on sale beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday. “In fairness to all turkey hunters, I decided to delay the start of over-the-counter sales for an additional week,” DNR…

Surprising choice for new DNR director

It’s a bit of a head-scratcher, but Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s choice to run DNR is Colleen Callahan, a 61-year-old Edwards resident who runs her own communications consulting firm, formerly worked as an agriculture broadcaster and has deep roots in Illinois politics. In his announcement, Pritzker did not point out any connections Callahan has with the state’s outdoors.

Proposed legislation calls for DNR to certify, develop distribution program for non-toxic ammunition

SB 201 provides that the “Department shall adopt by rule a public process to certify ammunition as nontoxic ammunition and shall define, by rule, nontoxic ammunition to include only ammunition in which there is no lead content, excluding the presence of trace elements of lead.”It’s early in the spring legislative session, but already an interesting – not to mention confusing – bill…

Muzzleloader harvest up slightly in 2018

Fifty-six percent of the deer taken in the muzzleloader-only season were does.Hunters harvested 3,863 deer during the 2018 muzzleloader-only season, which took place this past weekend. The harvest tally was up slightly from the 3,765 taken in 2017. According to the Illinois DNR, harvest sex ratios were 56 percent does and 44 percent bucks (2,172 to 1,691). The top five counties for muzzleloader…

DNR promotes McClelland to lead Division of Fisheries

It appears the Illinois DNR has a new chief of the department that manages the state’s fish. Dan Stephenson, who retired from the position this summer, announced via email Monday that Mike McClelland has accepted the role of leading the Division of Fisheries. McClelland spent 14 years with the Illinois Natural History Survey, mostly as the Long Term Illinois River Fish…

ICF to induct five new members to Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame

Five Illinoisans who’ve helped shape and support the state’s wildlife, nature and outdoor recreation will be inducted into the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame this fall. The new class was recognized Saturday in Conservation World at the Illinois State Fair. The Illinois Conservation Foundation, which oversees the Hall of Fame, selected Diane Banta, Jerry Beverlin, David F. Grohne, Sam Oliver,…

McTaggart to replace Bluett as DNR furbearer manager

Stan McTaggart, who has spent more than four years managing upland game as the DNR’s agriculture and grassland wildlife program manager, is replacing Bob Bluett as the agency’s wildlife diversity program manager. Among other things, McTaggart, who also has served the DNR as a district wildlife biologist, will be responsible for the state’s furbearer program. According to Mark Alessi, chief of the DNR’s Division of Wildlife…

Public forums offer information about Farm Bill, potential affects on Illinois wildlife

According to the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, if Congress fails to re-authorize important Farm Bill conservation provisions in 2018, Illinois stands to lose up to 900,000 acres of wildlife habitat enrolled in programs like the Conservation Reserve Program.Three public forums on the 2018 Farm Bill and the impact it could have on Illinois wildlife will be held this month in East…

Hunters steaming into final week of deer season

The state’s deer season wraps up Sunday, and it appears hunters will easily top last year’s harvest total. DNR has released numbers from the first weekend of the late-winter and special CWD seasons, which produced a harvest of 1,714 deer, compared to 2,654 in those same counties in 2016.  This year, 15 counties were open to the CWD season, and 22…

Retired high school teacher reaches goal with 11-point buck; bowhunters ahead of last year’s pace

Dave McCarthy has been a patient deer hunter, if nothing else. The bowhunter from Rantoul has been wanting to harvest a Pope and Young buck for decades, and last week his hard work — and patience — paid off. Dave McCarthy with the 11-point buck he took in Greene County on Oct. 11. On Oct. 11, he took an 11-point…